"MY LITTLE WYLIE, MY HAPPINESS"
Richard Dean Anderson has dreamed of this for a long time. At 49 years old, he's a daddy! He opens his family album for us, and we share his happiness. While shooting in Vancouver, the actor speaks of his life, his daughter Wylie Quinn Annarose, 7 months, and of Apryl Prose, the woman who shares his life.
On August 2, 1998, your first child, little Wylie Quinn Annarose, was born. Has her arrival upset your life?
I wouldn't want to appear conceited, but already having had a certain amount of life experience, I knew the changes that this birth would engender. For a long time, I've dreamt of having a child! Besides, my mother took the opportunity to send me some old newspaper clippings in which I mentioned my wish to become a father. When Apryl, my companion, became pregnant, I knew that this would be a great time. I wasn't afraid to assume my responsibility as a father. Today, when I'm beside my baby, I savor every moment. Nothing bothers me: changing diapers, waking up at three o'clock in the morning when she coughs. Besides, Wylie is very pleasant, she never cries without a reason. If she demands attention, it's only to let us understand that she wants her bottle. Wylie is not temperamental, she is our happiness.
Were you present at Apryl's side during her delivery?
Of course. This was without a doubt the most overwhelming experience of my entire life. I've always observed human beings, and their reactions. I've even assisted at the births of other babies. Even if it's touching, you still feel a distance. But, assisting at the birth of this child, it was overwhelming. It was all the more moving in that when Wylie was born, she didn't cry, she wasn't breathing. She had to be revived. I have to tell you that seeing the doctors and nurses rush to her side, it was painful to contain my emotions. However, my role was to support Apryl. When finally, I knew that Wylie was out of danger, I collapsed. I was in tears, but relieved. At that precise instant, I understood that my life had truly taken a new turn.
How did you choose this name... Wylie Quinn Annarose?
Apryl and I wanted a name that was out of the ordinary. During this time, I was in Canada for the shooting of Stargate, and Apryl was staying in Los Angeles. We called each other every day. I read her fairy tales, while she put the telephone receiver on her stomach so that our baby could hear. One day, while I was telling a story, we found that Wylie, the name of the heroine, was perfect. Originally, I wanted to call my daughter Zoe, but my family didn't like that name. We added Quinn. As for Annarose, we chose it at the last moment. It's the name of a red rose that I adore. Annarose captivated Apryl: for her, it's rare that a man likes particular flowers. I've never hidden it, it's a true passion. To be both masculine and not to fear to express your femininity, that's a quality for a man that Apryl appreciates. Each man carries in him this share of femininity, but will rarely admit to it.
What are the fundamental values that you wish to teach to Wylie?
I think that it's difficult to predict in this area. I'd like for her to teach herself as much as possible. To know how to give her the freedom to be able to choose, that's the essential thing. That she develops a curious spirit. I also hope to always keep an open dialogue. Inevitably she will make mistakes. I learned many lessons from my own mistakes. I also hope to protect her from certain dangers, to avoid the irreparable, in all things.
You met Apryl almost three years ago, what immediately attracted you to her?
It was in New York. Apryl is the best friend of a young woman whom Michael Greenburg, producer of Stargate and MacGyver, was going out with at the time. When I met Apryl, not only did I find her extremely beautiful, but I adored her sense of humor. We shared that. Very quickly, we fell in love.
With a child, do you feel the need to make your union official?
Not for the moment. We considered that possiblity when Apryl was pregnant. Since then, we've talked about it many times. But it's not an essential thing. My mother never stops asking me the question, and I tell her that neither church nor state can dictate the nature of our relationship. Later, maybe, when Wylie is older, if she expresses such a wish, we would get married for her. Unless Apryl and I make the decision before then.
Parallel to your private life, you are beginning the third season of Stargate. How did this great adventure begin?
Metro Goldwyn Mayer came to me to propose the role of Jack O'Neill. I'm not a fan of science fiction, but I found the idea interesting, especially since I also produce the series. Besides, from the beginning, I was guaranteed turning out forty four episodes in two years. Today, given the success, we expect one hundred thirty two episodes in total. Furthermore, unlike MacGyver, I don't carry the entire series on my shoulders. There's a technical team behind me... actors, and many others.
You left MacGyver several years ago. Nevertheless, the series continues to be distributed, notably in France. Does this notoriety surprise you?
During the period of MacGyver, many things happened in my career. But I'm very flattered that people still watch the series. That proves to what extent the character has touched the public. I receive as always a lot of letters, from France, Latin America, Asia... When the series was launched, in 1985, the serials distributed in the United States talked only about guns to solve problems... They talked only about violence. The concept of MacGyver was different, it ran against everything that was being done: the hero used peaceful solutions to restore order.
You seem to be very happy with your daughter. Don't you long to have another baby?
Apryl dreams of having a little boy. I think that we'll have other children, of course, but for the moment, we want to take advantage of our little Wylie: she's only 7 months old. I'm watching my daughter grow. I find that with Apryl, we form a perfect trio. This magnificent happiness occupies me totally.
FROM MACGYVER TO STARGATE
Born January 23, 1950 in Minneapolis to a jazz bassist father and a painter-sculptor mother, Richard Dean Anderson, 6'2" and 172 lbs., wanted to become a hockey player. An accident shattered his career. In 1976, while working at Marineland, Richard presented himself for an audition for General Hospital. He played Dr. Jeff Webber until 1981. After an appearance in The Love Boat, he was discovered by Henry Winkler (Fonzie, in Happy Days) to play the charming adventurer, MacGyver: a role tailor made for him which opened the doors to fame, in 1985. The series ended in 1992, after 139 episodes. Since 1997, Richard has reprised the role of Colonel Jack O'Neill, played in the movie by Kurt Russell, in the television adaptation, Stargate SG-1. In his private life he has been attributed with numerous conquests: Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God), the beautiful figure skater Katarina Witt, Emma Samms (Models Inc.), Teri Hatcher (Lois and Clark), Lara Flynn Boyle; not to mention the blonde Amanda Tapping, who is always his partner in the series Stargate.